New Buff Orpingtons...Devouring wood shavings

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by drawlins, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. drawlins

    drawlins In the Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2019
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    One week in to owning three BO's for the first time, and we've changed bedding materials twice already! :wee

    We were recommended by a very experienced breeder (3000 chickens on site at any one time), that wood shavings were the best bedding material. However, our buffs were not from that breeder and decided that wood is pretty tasty - they've grown up living with straw.

    We've got a wireless camera set up and so spotted them gobbling copious amounts of shavings and so had a late-night emergency cleaning session to remove the shavings for fear they'll get an impaction.

    So-back to straw, we've got a brand here called Dengie Fresh Bed and it's been endorsed by the Hen Welfare Trust, so I'm assuming it's safe for chickens despite some concerns I've read about straw impactions? This straw is chopped and is quite fine, also being gently infused with pine oil. They love it, and don't seem to eat it much at all.

    Just wondered about experiences on here- does anyone else see these issues? Here's a snip from this evening, of the three ladies snoozing on the floor despite a lovely roost above them!

    David
    IMG_0045.JPG
     
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  2. penny1960

    penny1960 Yippy Do Da, Yipptye Ay!

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    Straw can mold may I ask what state you live in ?
     
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  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Are you offering your new chickens grit?
     
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  4. drawlins

    drawlins In the Brooder

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    I'm in the UK - Yorkshire. If I change the straw every other day, surely that'll be safe from going mouldy? I don't want them living in a damp environment anyway.
     
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  5. drawlins

    drawlins In the Brooder

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    Absolutely - I've got a tray of grit and also mixed feed with oyster grit
     
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  6. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Are you assuming oyster shell serves as grit for the digestive system? Or are you providing actual granite grit?
     
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  7. drawlins

    drawlins In the Brooder

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    The separate tray I provide has proper grit - flint and granite.
     
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  8. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    Excellent! Along with clean fresh water, there shouldn't be any issues with impacted crops from eating shavings or other cellulose. It should wash right on through their systems.
     
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  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    Don't know if you can find different sizes of shavings, but I did notice my hens liking to eat smaller, finer shavings. If you can find a more coarse flake shaving it would probably help discourage them a bit.

    That said, if they like this current bedding you're using and it's cost effective for you, no reason to switch it up.

    Other possible options would be sand, or I use wood chips (mulch).
     
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  10. penny1960

    penny1960 Yippy Do Da, Yipptye Ay!

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    They are now selling them large or small have that out here also I was in state of shock from this
     
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